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Winners Warwick Awards for Personal Tutoring Excellence 2023

Our Warwick Awards for Personal Tutoring Excellence recognise staff who have made an outstanding contribution to the support of students through the University's personal tutoring system. Nominations come from the Warwick community. We received more nominations than ever before this year from both students and staff, reflecting the continued commitment to personal tutoring across the University and the important impact that this has on the student experience.

Meet our winners.

Short biographies of Warwick Awards for Personal Tutoring Excellence winners 2023

Eloise Powell

eloise powell

Warwick Medical School

Rebecca Morris

rebecca morris

Education Studies

Deborah Roberts

deborah roberts

Centre for Teacher Education

Eloise’s experience as a doctor shapes her approach to personal tutoring in the Medical School. Eloise recognised the need to act as a role model to students, demonstrating professional behaviours. As Deputy Senior Tutor, Eloise has been a visible advocate for the importance of student wellbeing, learning the names of all 200 students in the cohort. Eloise has consistently been involved in projects around diversity and inclusion in the School, including a welcome event for disabled students, cost of living projects and active work to reduce the awarding gaps in the School. Eloise has also contributed to the anti-racism module in the School. Aware of the need to provide regular updates to personal tutors, Eloise created a single Teams space for personal tutors to access information and news updates. Eloise has been active in the development of personal tutor coffee mornings to share practice and issues relevant to the student body and in 2019 launched the Clinical Teaching Fellows Network to provide an opportunity for clinical teachers to demonstrate innovative teaching. Eloise is also a proud judge of the Warwick Doctor Awards, recognising the importance of humility and kindness in students. Eloise has had a significant impact on the student learning experience through her work on personal tutoring. As one student noted, ‘Eloise has been incredibly supportive and informative, going above and beyond and it's been incredibly appreciated.’ Congratulations Eloise!

Rebecca believes that personal tutoring offers the opportunity for meaningful two-way dialogue that benefits the tutor and tutee. Rebecca’s personal tutoring practice is based on the core value that every student should have the best possible experience while at university. Rebecca seeks to provide regular and proactive contact with personal tutees, offering the space to meet and listen to students. Indeed, as one student said, ‘Becky never makes me feel like I am disturbing her, and always takes time to talk things through with me.’ Rebecca emphasises the need to develop meaningful relationships with students and to establish boundaries in the personal tutor role. As the Widening Participation lead for the department, Rebecca understands the importance of belonging to students and helps to foster this sense of belonging through her proactive approach. Rebecca founded a student peer mentoring scheme to improve student support mechanisms in her department. Rebecca has also sought to support and develop other personal tutors in the department including through sharing her personal tutoring approach. One colleague noted that Rebecca ‘has answered questions about confidentiality, advised me when an issue should be escalated to the senior tutor, explained support mechanisms, and signposted me to relevant structures in the university’. Rebecca’s support for students and staff, embedded in the importance of belonging and building community, was a common theme of her nominations for the award. Congratulations Rebecca!

Deborah’s commitment to personal tutoring is rooted in her own research on retention of students on initial teacher training programmes. Deborah has developed a module in CTE which enables trainee teachers to take ownership of their own professional development. This approach encourages students and mentors in the department to work together to ensure students make the best use of their time on placement. Deborah has led on liaising with central services to open these up to non-traditional students, especially PGCE students whose working lives may not correspond to the ‘typical’ Warwick student. In addition to providing excellent individual support to students, Deborah has also led on a research project designed to improve student workload in the department and has actively supported colleagues with how to approach personal tutoring. Deborah designed a personal tutor information sheet to help to frame personal tutor meetings in the department and has placed an emphasis on supporting all students to achieve their best outcomes, including through tailored support for English as an Additional Language students. One personal tutee commended Deborah for her always ‘wanting the best for the tutees under her wing.’ Congratulations Deborah!

Judges’ honourable mention

Des Hewitt (Centre for Teacher Education)

The judging panel wished to record an honourable mention for Professor Des Hewitt (CTE). Des received a significant number of nominations from students and staff, each of which emphasised his empathy and capacity to get the best out of students. Des’s recognition of inclusion and person-centred approach to personal tutoring were also highlighted in the nominations. Unfortunately due to Des’s current circumstances, Des could not produce a supporting statement for the second stage of the judging process. The panel therefore agreed to record this honourable mention in recognition of Des’s commitment to personal tutoring and support of students and colleagues.


Enjoyed hearing about our winners? You can also learn more about the winners of the Warwick Awards for Teaching Excellence.